Each day since the start of the year around 2,000 migrants have arrived on the Greek coast. At this rate the numbers for those who made the perilous sea journey since January 2015 could top the one million mark by the middle of this month.
Many have waited for days on the shores of Turkey – in places just eight kilometres from the Greek island of Lesbos. More and more women and children – some of them very young – are crossing by sea. They board inflatable dingies, sometimes small with not enough seats for everyone which increases the risk of the craft capsizing.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, nearly 130,000 arrived by sea to Greece and Italy this year. Four hundred and eighteen people have perished or disappeared.
A higher number have landed in Greece than Italy. The Mediterranean crossing from Libya is more dangerous than using the Aegean.
It is a small consolation but the 418 deaths since the start of the year are slightly less than in the same period in 2015. But in the first nine weeks of this year 77 children died when crossing the Aegean. That works out at more than one death each day.
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